New dental model at the Peninsula

The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry is to be divided between two universities as Plymouth and Exeter Universities call a halt to a 10-year partnership.

Plymouth will retain all 64 dentistry students, and Exeter will get the bigger share of medical students, with a split of 125 to 75.

The Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry keeps the ‘Peninsula’ brand alive, and a new University of Exeter Medical School will be set up.

Exeter has invested £250 million in life sciences with another £150 million of investment coming over the next four years.

Existing dental students, including those entering the college’s programmes in 2012, will be taught under the terms of the current joint arrangements and will graduate with joint degrees of the two universities.

New students entering from 2013 will study for University of Exeter or Plymouth University degrees.

The two universities remain committed to working together to further the regional knowledge economy through their other existing joint ventures.

The changes are subject to the approval of the General Medical and Dental Councils, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the NHS.

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor at Exeter University said: “The current partnership has worked well to get medical and dental education to its current strong position.

‘But we now require a different model to respond to the challenges of the future. Our joint plan will benefit students, staff, patients and medical and dental professionals and enable us to build on the strong foundations established by PCMD. We very much look forward to working in partnership with our staff and students, healthcare trusts and other healthcare providers to train doctors for the future, for the benefit of the communities of the South-West.’

Professor Wendy Purcell,vice-Chancellor at Plymouth University said: ‘This has been a highly successful partnership which as a result has seen the Peninsula Medical and Dental School outgrow the current arrangements.

‘These new proposals bring new opportunities and possibilities for us to build upon our work to address health inequalities in the region, promoting social inclusion and making a real difference to the community.

‘Plymouth’s distinctive offer will include a renewed focus on translating research into practice, growing the next generation of local doctors and dentists, and continuing to offer free dental care to up to 500 local people every day.’

Liz Kay, dean of Peninsula Dental School, on sabbatical until later this month.

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